A Change in Altitude

A Change in Altitude

3.0 98
by Anita Shreve

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Margaret and Patrick have been married just a few months when they set off on what they hope will be a great adventure-a year living in Kenya. Margaret quickly realizes there is a great deal she doesn't know about the complex mores of her new home, and about her own husband.

A British couple invites the newlyweds to join on a climbing expedition to Mount Kenya,


Margaret and Patrick have been married just a few months when they set off on what they hope will be a great adventure-a year living in Kenya. Margaret quickly realizes there is a great deal she doesn't know about the complex mores of her new home, and about her own husband.

A British couple invites the newlyweds to join on a climbing expedition to Mount Kenya, and they eagerly agree. But during their harrowing ascent, a horrific accident occurs. In the aftermath of the tragedy, Margaret struggles to understand what happened on the mountain and how these events have transformed her and her marriage, perhaps forever.

A Change in Altitude illuminates the inner landscape of a couple, the irrevocable impact of tragedy, and the elusive nature of forgiveness. With stunning language and striking emotional intensity, Anita Shreve transports us to the exotic panoramas of Africa and into the core of our most intimate relationships.

Editorial Reviews

For many Americans, a one-year stay in Kenya would be an exotic adventure, a vicarious immersion in a vastly different multicultural place. For newlyweds Geraldine and James, it becomes something quite different. A terrifying accident on a climbing expedition on Mount Kenya changes everything, forcing 28-year-old Geraldine to reassess both her marriage and herself. Another probing domestic story by the author of the Oprah's Book Club selection The Pilot's Wife.

Product Details

Little, Brown and Company
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
4.24(w) x 6.70(h) x 1.01(d)

Meet the Author

Anita Shreve is the acclaimed author of fourteen previous novels, including Testimony; The Pilot's Wife, which was a selection of Oprah's Book Club; and The Weight of Water, which was a finalist for England's Orange prize. She lives in Massachusetts.

Brief Biography

New Hampshire; Massachusetts
Date of Birth:
B.A., Tufts University

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Change in Altitude 3.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 97 reviews.
CBH More than 1 year ago
Climbing Mount Kenya sounded like a real challenge to Margaret and Patrick, especially when they had never climbed a mountain before. They had been in Kenya for several months, getting used to some of the customs, climate, and various groups of people living around them, and were enjoying most all of their experiences. A mountain climb sounded great. They rented housing while in Kenya and had met several people they now felt closer to. Patrick was a doctor who worked in a hospital but also spent much time helping the ill in villages and teaching them about disease and how to care for themselves They got together with several other couples, some with climbing experience, to plan the climb and taking some practice climbs in short mountains in the area to get acclimated. They learned what they had to take along, how to climb, how to breathe, what food was best to take, medicines needed, and what they personally might encounter with their own body and mind. Since they would share crude lodging during the climb, they had to adapt to that and what might occur with some of them physically and mentally. Margaret and Patrick were in love with each other but to what extent they were not sure. The climb brought some feelings and words out that started causing some doubt in both of their minds. The climb began when everyone thought they were prepared, slowly trekking up little by little, stopping, eating, and sleeping when scheduled. Rest time became different with Margaret, as she was not as ready to climb such a high mountain as she thought. Some things good and bad occurred. When one of the party unhooked herself from the group for some unknown reason and fell thousands of feet the entire trek was stopped. This upset all of them and the love between Margaret and Patrick got tenser. Margaret wanted to work and she went to one of the newspapers to get a photography position if they had one open. They hired her on a free lancing basis that she did a good job with and her work became steadier. She also met a handsome man that was paired up with her on assignments that caused her more questions than answers about her and Patrick. The descriptions of locations, people, customs, traditions, and most everything about the area is written so well. I had read a review that said the middle of the story "bogged down" but I found no such thing. The flow was great. As time went on, Margaret and Patrick decided to make the climb again which they did taking another couple along with them. The story will introduce the reader to much about Kenya and its many groups of native and other foreign people that came to Kenya. A very good read. Thanks Anita Shreve for another great story.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have read Anita Shreve before, but this book was a total disappointment from start to finish. The main characters were not developed at all and I learned so little about them, that I hardly cared what happened to them. They were shallow and completely self-absorbed and you wondered what drew them together to begin with. The secondary characters were weak, too. Everytime the storyline took a turn and I thought something was about to happen, it never really did. All twists and turns were dead-ends. The climbs were all too easy and all too quick for two people that were, supposedly, inexperienced climbers. They hardly seemed prepared to make the climbs in terms of supplies, preparation, etc. The Kenyan backdrop was interesting, but the story was severely lacking. In fact, it was less a story than it was a chronicle of events - none of which seemed pulled together very well to form a story. If you want to read Shreve, stick with some of her classics - "The Pilot's Wife," "Weight of Water," etc.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anita Shreve is one of my favorite authors; however, this book was a bomb! I was glad to get it over with, the characters lacked depth, the plot was dull, the ending just left you hanging. Totally boring! I was not impressed with her previous book, Testimony, either. Would definitely tell people not to waste their money on either.
DLMT More than 1 year ago
I have read every book Anita Shreve has written, this is not her best. I was very disappointed.
Mimi3NH More than 1 year ago
I had been a fan of Anita Shreve for many years. Then I found her less then her usual self. This book brings her up to snuff.It keeps you turning pages. A recommended read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was the most boring book I have ever read. I kept waiting for something to happen, but nothing does! I would not reccommend this book.
AAR More than 1 year ago
A CHANGE IN ATTITUDE by Anita Shreve is a contemporary fiction set in Kenya. It is well written in depth and detail. I thought the ending left a few questions as to the characters future. It has distrust,marriage, tragedy, living in a strange and sometimes dangerous country, the consequences of unintended actions, and the struggle to climb to the top of Mount Kenya. The characters are interesting and will hold your interest. This story shows how an life can change in an instant. It gives an in depth description of Kenya and some of their issues. If you enjoy some small triumphs, struggles with marriage and relationships you will enjoy this one. This book was received for review and details can be found at My Book Addiction and More and Hachette.
julie0903 More than 1 year ago
I was so disappointed with this book, I had to force myself to read it. I kept hoping to find a twist or something but nothing. Her books have become so dull. Cannot compare to Resistance, Weight of Water, Pilot's Wife and such. Bring back the old Anita Shreve. I couldn't engage with the story, the characters, nothing.
JessLucy More than 1 year ago
Not sure why this one isn't getting better reviews; I found this to be one of Shreve's better books. I liked Margaret but couldn't stand Patrick, Arthur, Diana and the Dutch woman. I wished throughout that the protaganist would just tell them all to get lost. She didn't even do anything wrong! I just couldn't stand the attitude of her husband and friends. I liked the ending for two reasons. (I won't give it away). The African setting was absolutely spectacular. I also really liked Body Surfing, Testimony and Eden Close by this same author. You may also enjoy the books of Alice Hoffman; A Tree Grows in Brooklyn and anything by Ruth Rendell (especially End in Tears) and Barbara Vine.
NYbooklover More than 1 year ago
A FANTASTIC READ!!! I found A Change in Altitude to be extremely captivating and intriguing! I have been long interested in wanting to learn more about Africa and its people . This was SO interesting in my opinion!The plot was very intriguing in and of itself! The characters were as usual very well drawn by Shreve. I read way in to the very wee hours of the morning and could literally not put this book down to go to bed!I wish there could be a sequel to see what happens to Patrick and Margaret next. Does she leave Africa or stay/where does Patrick go next as a doctor/does Margaret ever see Rafiq again/ I thought this book was multilayered and it really made one think about Africa and about Kenya in particularIt made one think about Margaret and Patrick's marriage and how these situations can arise in a marriage. It was a truly wonderful book, or should I say, experience,that Anita Shreve gave the reader! I wish there were an online barnes and noble book club for this book as I would enjoy discussing this book with others. The ending surprised me, but it gave a lot of food for thought..
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book dragged on until the very end. Anita Shreve has written better books - this was a one off. Would not recommend.
RosieNY More than 1 year ago
I've read other books by Anita Shreve and this is one of the best.Highly recommended.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Although Anita Shreve's writing style is superb as usual, the plot and the characters of this book were disappointing. I found it unusual that Anita decided to fill this book with fluff rather than content. The end was abrupt and not fulfilling, I wish it would've been given a little more thought. Overall this book was ok.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I think every author, even excellent ones, write one stinker in their career. This is Anita Shreve's stinker. I found the characters to be stuffy, self-righteous, selfish, pompous and arrogant. I didn't care what happened to any of them, and halfway through the book I began skipping large chunks of the book, just to get the end. I liked the wild animals more than the people, and wouldn't have been sad if they all died in an avalanche. I'm hoping her future books will be better, as she's capable of so much more.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I really enjoy reading the Anita Shreve books. Each provides a very real and honest look at complex relationships. Usually, I read them pretty quickly because I can't put the book down! This one was harder for me to get into to, but I stuck with it. The story become more interesting in the middle of the book, after the tragic accident that redefines the heroine's marriage and her view of her husband. The end left me wanting a little bit...a little confused about what the future held for the marriage. Not my favorite of her books, but if you are an Anita Shreve fan, worth the read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Had it not been that this book was required for a book club discussion, I would have put it down and never finished it. It lacked any plot to speak of, the characters were boring as hell, and the story line left a lot to be desired. I really had a hard time reading through it, and I kept thinking something would happen to make it more interesting reading. It didn't, and when I got to the end, I was looking for something to catch my attention. The beginning of the book was painful to read...not really capturing my attention, and darting from one thing to another. The middle of the book got a little more interesting, and the ending was a disappointment. Don't know if I would read anything else by this author.
Madamereadsalot More than 1 year ago
I have read other books by Anita Shreve and really enjoyed them. This book however, was a complete disappointment. It's been a long time since I read a book and got to the end thinking...."I wasted 300 pages for that????" Yes, the story contains symbolism, and yes the author wants the reader to draw his or her own conclusions at the end; but the feeling of disjointedness, the under developed plot, and the wishy washy main characters make this book a true disappointment.
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